Vitamins For Dummies
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Glycine is a nonessential amino acid. Dietary sources of this nutrient include fish, meats, beans, and dairy products. It also comes from choline in the liver and the amino acids threonine or serine. Glycine is an important nutrient for detoxifying chemicals in your body and helps wounds heal. Its beneficial effects for schizophrenics have been studied for more than ten years.

Before taking glycine supplements, consult a qualified nutritionist. While glycine shows some beneficial effects in schizophrenia, too much can have toxic effects in the brain. Glycine occurs so widely in all foods that it’s unlikely you need to take individual supplements.

Key uses of glycine include:

  • Physiologically, glycine has a calming effect on brain metabolism.

  • Glycine helps your body synthesize hemoglobin, collagen, and glutathione—another amino aid detoxifier.

  • Glycine works in your body to detoxify toxic chemicals like toluene, which is released from the paint in your house.

  • This amino acid is also an essential part of glutathione, a substance your liver uses to protect your body’s cells and tissues from free radical damage.

  • You can use glycine for healing wounds, reduce manic states, and to support growth hormone release (taken in higher amounts).

  • Dimethylglycine and trimethylglycine, other forms of glycine, are supplemented more in clinical practice to improve energy and strengthen your immune system and your ability to recover from and prevent infections.

Serine, a component of brain proteins (including coverings of the nerves), is an amino acid that can be made in your tissues from glycine or threonine, so it is considered nonessential. Your body, however, needs adequate amounts of vitamin B-3, vitamin B-6, and folic acid to make serine from glycine. Serine isn’t often recommended, except in the special form, phospatidylserine. Its chief functions are:

  • Serine is important in the formation of cell membranes and in making creatine (part of your muscle tissue).

  • Serine is used as a natural moisturizer in skin creams.

  • A special form of serine, phosphatidylserine, can help treat mood and metabolic or sleep disorders.

Meats and dairy products, wheat gluten, peanuts, and soy products all contain ample amounts of serine.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., is an holistic health expert whose many books include Herbal Remedies For Dummies??. Elson Haas, M.D., is the author of Staying Healthy with the Seasons and The Detox Diet.

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